Script never dies: Bruni's brain!


We knew that someone would say it: It’s always amazing to see the way the “minds” of these life-forms work.

Yesterday morning, Frank Bruni was thundering loudly. And then, in a truly amazing display, the gentleman gave the world this:
BRUNI (12/4/11): Couple [Gingrich’s] showy scholarship with his grandiose streak and you get pomposity on a scale that would make a French monarch blanch. Last week, in an electronic book published by Politico and Random House, it was revealed that he had compared the attempts to retool his initially beleaguered campaign with the founding of Wal-Mart by Sam Walton and of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc.

In a Fox News interview he one-upped any of Al Gore’s long-ago claims about “Love Story,” Love Canal or the invention of the Internet.

“I helped Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp develop supply-side economics,” he boasted.
We’ll admit it. When we first saw those quoted statements by Gingrich, we knew that someone would create the link to Candidate Gore. But if we might borrow from Don Corleone:

Until that very morning, we didn’t know it would be Bruni!

It’s a fact about these life-forms: Once they get a script in their heads, nothing can ever dislodge it. That three-part script about Candidate Gore was endlessly repeated from December 1999 on; rather plainly, that three-headed script sent Bush to the White House. This past week, “Panchito” was ready to type it again, twelve years to the month after his colleagues created it.

How amazing is Frank Bruni? In the case of Gore’s first “claim,” he has actually had fourteen years to learn the facts which follow:

What did Gore “claim” about Love Story? Bruni has no idea. Gore’s fleeting remarks were made late at night, in a rambling two-hour conversation with two reporters during a plane ride. There is no tape of transcript of his remarks—and both reporters derided the notion that Gore said something noteworthy. Karen Tumulty aggressively did so in real time, in December 1997 ( click here), then did so again in September 2000. Richard Berke followed suit, when finally asked, in the fall of 2000.

Bruni doesn’t know what Gore “claimed;” he has had fourteen years to learn this fact. The two reporters who heard what Gore said each said it was no big deal—and no one has ever shown that Gore said something inaccurate. But life-forms like Bruni never quit! Once a script gets into their programming, nothing can ever erase it.

Regarding Love Canal, Bruni’s comment is even sadder. We will be telling that full story in chapter 6 of How He Got There, which we will post when the new year begins. The full story involves astounding misconduct by Bruni’s far-flung colleagues. This explains why no one has ever told the full story till now.

Final point: Societies which tolerate this kind of “journalism” are destined for the junk heap. We live in that sort of society, in part because so many major “liberals” and major career players were involved in the war against Gore.

Protecting Rich, Dowd, Kelly and Connolly comes first. For that reason, their scripts never die.


  1. The media is still driving those mythical stories about Al Gore.
    As for seeing Capter Six of "How He Got There" after the first of the year, well, promises, promises. I have heard that before. We can't very well complain about how the media distorted Al Gore when our own book about it keeps getting delayed and delayed.
    It's only eleven years after capmpaign 2000 ended and we don't even have chapter 6, let alone the whole book yet.

  2. Yes, Alan -- "We" can't complain about the media because "our" book isn't even out.

    Can you hear yourself?

  3. Yes, I can hear myself, anonymous. If our side keeps saying something and not doing it, how does that enable us to engage in constructive criticism of the media, when the biggest example of our incompetent media is the way Al Gore was treated when he ran for President? All I would like to do is get that word out. We have been promised chapter 6 for almost a year now. Where is it? Well, maybe in January. I'm not holding my breath based on the past record.

  4. Our ignorant media unfairly criticized Gore on Love Canal and the invention of the internet. OTOH they let him get away with a false promise of a Social Security "lockbox". That term has no meaning.

  5. I don't think they so much "let him get away with" the SS lockbox stuff, as they were simply too stupid/incompetent to criticize that framing of the issue.

  6. It's actually a step forward. It used to be that journalistic norms required someone like Bruni dig around until he found, or invented, a recent example of a Democrat doing something Republicans do, to support the sacred tenet of "Both sides are equally guilty." Bruni is actually breaking with the standards of his profession, as here, he isn't saying "Both sides do it," but rather, "Both sides used to do it." A wild eyed optimist might call it progress of a sort.

  7. What about this sparkling prose from the article?

    "..Republican voters forgive him as they stand at the 2012 salad bar, famished for a protein other than Mitt Romney and forced to choose from what’s there. The baby shrimp absent, the chicken strips missing, they settle for legumes. Gingrich is their bloviating garbanzo bean. Onto the romaine he goes."

    I was agog at the terribleness of this passage. Bruni is just an awful, awful writer.

  8. I can't speak for Bruni, but I would imagine he thought that awful (I agree with Arundel) passage above was quite witty, and valid, since he'd proved his chops by serving as one of the New York Times's food critics.

    The larger issue is these scripts the establishment media keep trotting out. It's as if they're incapable of any independent thought, or perhaps it's discouraged (except in rare cases, like Krugman and Fallows).

    Some of it is just dumb, as when they're commenting on Mitt Romney's hair, but a good deal of these scripts are quite destructive, because they create what might be called the discourse--and discursive conditions--under which certain "truths," in the Platonic and Nietzschean senses, come into being.

    So, when they repeat, or as bad or worse, fail to challenge rhetoric such as that Gore is a liar; or that Kerry is a "flipflopper"; or that there are WMDs in Iraq; or that raising taxes creates jobs; or that John McCain is a "maverick"; and so on, we're talking about them helping to create situations and conditions that result in tremendous hardship for others, loss of livelihood and life, and so much else.

    I don't know how to get through these folks. It's clear that the writers for the Washington Post and New York Times cannot be moved in any way. They are, it appears, unflagging in their belief in these scripts, no matter what the outcome. It's also clear that they have no idea what "journalism" really is, or that, like those destructive "truths" they help to create, they've redefined it down so extensively that perhaps it does mean something else now, like PR, and faith-based recording, and stenography, and mimicry (but without any critical edge).

    I don't know what else to say, beyond that whatever we may feel about the people in Congress, the corrupt system they've deeply intermeshed with, global corporations and their control of everything, Wall Street and bankers in general, the military-industrial complex, and so forth, the utter intellectual, ethical and moral bankruptcy of the mass, mainstream, establishment media is one of the major problems we face as a society. How to turn this around is an issue for far better minds than mine.

  9. That should be "or that cutting taxes creates jobs..."

  10. John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush cut tax rates. In each case, their tax cut was followed by a substantial increase in jobs. Now, correlation doesn't necessarily prove causality. However, note that Keynesian theory would also argue that tax cuts create jobs, since tax cuts leave more money to be spent, thus increasing demand.

  11. Frank Bruni knows perfectly well that these claims about what Gore supposedly said are false. Like the others, he just doesn't give a shit if he can score some points with some people who I suppose can do something for him. A disgusting excuse for a journalist.

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